A week ago, I joined the online dating website Plenty of Fish.
For those who don’t know, it’s a site where single people upload a couple of pictures of themselves, an insufferable ‘About Me’ biography, and statistics such as their height and religion – all in the hope of finding Mr Don’t Worry, You’re No Longer Going To Die Alone.
I’d always been a bit skeptical about joining. Partly because I’ve done a couple of stories with women who have been brutally attacked by guys they met online, and partly because it felt a bit too ‘officially looking 4 love’, a bit too ‘I’ve exhausted all of my other options and the panic has well and truly set in’.
Of course, I’d heard the horror stories. Policemen who turned out to be married with kids. Funeral directors who were 1ft 8in shorter than they’d indicated in their profiles. Dick pic after flaccid dick pic. But I’m a journalist to the core, and to be completely honest, I relished the idea of meeting some weirdos.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Within hours, I’d been snapped up by this delightful gentleman. Let’s call him Jack. Now Jack had a lovely little profile. Everything spelled correctly, no pictures of him on the toilet, no mention of bodily fluids. Plus he’d included a charming sentence about how he wasn’t on there for ‘fun’, and it was ‘time for mortgages and babies’. So when he messaged me, I replied.
But what initially started off as polite chit-chat rapidly turned into him trying to order my fanny off the internet like a £20 Pizza Hut meal deal. With nothing to do of an evening, I decided to play along:
For my efforts, I was called a cunt. Not a bitch, not a slag, but a cunt. LOL.
Because I wasn’t willing to hand over my genitals like a free cracker sample at Morrisons, I was deemed a cunt. Because I wasn’t up for bumping uglies with someone who couldn’t be bothered driving for half an hour to see me, I was decreed a cunt.
It’s not even that he was trying it on that annoyed me. Trust me, there’s been a new prime minister and an EU referendum since I last got my leg over: I know the drill. It’s that he thought it would be so easy. Like mate, I didn’t spend half an hour crafting a witty About Me section and uploading pictures of me looking swotty at my graduation to get prodded in a Premier Inn just off the M5.
I should probably be upset that a complete stranger called me a cunt, but if anything, it’s given me a bit of a buzz. Emboldened by my new title, I have begun parking across two spaces and talking loudly on my mobile in the quiet zone of the train.
Determined not to let my encounter scupper my Plenty of Fish experience, I have matched with some other guys and hope to have more stories to tell soon.
Cunt over and out.